China has flown at least one long-range strategic H-6K bomber along its borders with India sending a signal not to escalate tensions, alleged a report published in leading Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post (SCMP).
“To mark the PLA Air Force’s 72nd anniversary on November 11, state broadcaster China Central Television aired footage that included a brief shot of an H-6K flying over a mountain range, indicating the aircraft had been sent to the Himalayas,” the report claimed. The Post quoted military experts saying that the move is meant as a warning to India. The move being made for the first time in the current circumstances incidentally come as India prepares to deploy its first squadron of state-of-the-art S 400 along its border.
A Beijing-based military source told SCMP the H-6Ks were usually based in Shaanxi province but had been stationed in Kashgar in the neighbouring western region of Xinjiang on a temporary basis since last year. “It’s very easy for the PLA to fly H-6Ks to the China-India border, because the aircraft are stationed … under the Western Theatre Command,” the source said.
The aircraft is under China’s Western Theatre Command, which includes the Xinjiang and Tibet military districts and is responsible for the border vis-a-vis India.